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Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-08-21 UTC
Hello again Charles.

I think it is important to note that a small change can have a large impact on a game.  I think people in the variant community should think on this when adding a new game.  One can get novel results by little effort.

I will stand by this being a modest variant, by the impact in the rules.  It is only marginally more than what is done with Skirmish Chess, for example.  And I will look to Skirmish Chess as an example to.  The game flat out plays different than Normal Chess, due to the proximity of the pawns and pieces.  Simplified Chess also came about when trying to shrink the size of the board.  Dipole Chess is similar in regards to rules tweaks similar, eventhough the effects are more severe.  

But, I will let people debate this.  If others want to chime in, please do so.  If this variant is considered radical, then please speak up, and I will not label it modest.  However, people may be concerned here about saying it is radical, because it is only removing a few rules.  This seems to go against the norm of what people here would want to do.  

I will also add here, that what I have been adding for the most part, had been done for practical reasons.

IAGO Chess System was done as a way to integrate the world of chess variants into normal chess (providing a migration path), and provide a way to play Capablanca chess with standard equipment for IAGO.  If anyone has an acceptable variant in the Capablanca Chess mold, please propose it.  Actually if Seirawan Chess was receptive to the variant community, the IAGO Chess System would of never came about.  It had been called, ironically, both 'too bold' and 'too modest'.  I have a feeling people may want a ton of noise that really doesn't change anything if that is the argument.

Near Chess ended up being stumbled across an attempt to do Minigrand Chess on an 8x8 board using IAGO Chess System rules.  This was then found to be Skirmish Chess, a modest chess variant, however, rules were removed, and it was repositioned as a game to help learn normal chess.  This then begat Near vs Normal (to see how it would hold up) and from there multi-formation chess (not entered in here yet) to allow for another way to mix the opening book in chess, and also a way to integrate variants into normal chess also (well, as another school of modifications to opening book that could join Chess960).

Vox Populi Chess is meant as a way to turn Chess into more of a party game, and attempting to increase its mass appeal, while making it more of a spectator sport also.  It is mean to get an audience involved.

And now, we have Dipole Chess.  This started out as Forwards Chess on SchemingMind.com site, but then was taken by myself to be like Dipole (Mark Steere's game) and done as a way to insure that there is a chess game that would never end up in a draw.  It is less severe than Forwards in what it restricts, adding depth seen in Steere's Dipole (capture to buy tempo).

A few others I added here have been for novelty effect, except for Simpleton's, which is there actually to be the world's easiest Chess game.  And this came from Henry VIII Chess actually.  Again, Simplified Chess appears in the form of the chessboard.  There is also mini-Near Chess, which has the Knights removed, again for teaching purposes.  

In all these, I wasn't trying to do anything revolutionary (well, IAGO Chess System can be said this, but it appeared to change nothing), just a minor change to deal with this and that.  They aren't meant as gimmicks either, or some sort of 'aha' thing either that thinks this is the magic bullet that would address all the perceived ills of normal chess.  I do know, however, that people who want to get fantastic about things may not give these designs much of a look.  They don't do anything way out there weird.  BUT, I will say they do end up fundamentally changing how chess works, even if the rules aren't that different.

Maybe I am a bit off.  Maybe what people want is stuff that looks really odd, but ends up playing pretty much identical to the chess they know already.  I also find it interesting people want the 'next chess' to end up allowing them to do everything they have been doing, not mess it up, but give them more variety in the opening, and being less likely to get draws at the end.  I would say people should considered Seirawan Chess for this off the top, vanilla Seirawan, and don't tweak it.  I would suggest, if not that, then people should give thought for the IAGO Chess System and make it there own, and discuss this.  It is meant to be variant community friendly.

Anyhow, in all this, I hope people look into this stuff, and even Simplified Chess.  I am finding, for example, that I do use Simplified Chess as a base for doing variants from time to time.  The board at least is interesting.  I know I am looking at Simplified Dipole Chess, for example.

Just my 2 cents.  I hope people also chime in here.  

By the way, I checked the Moves box, and unchecked the Modest box in the Index section.

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